Some conservatives like Dr. Ben Carson
approve of the pro-abortion stance of fellow pediatric physician and Oregon senate candidate Monica Wehby, but former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania isn't buying it.
"What she knows to be true as a physician is that life begins at conception,'' Santorum told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"To say, 'well, because I can't win, I'm not going to defend innocent human life and make the case to the people of Oregon'... it's indefensible."
Wehby, who like Carson is a noted pediatric neurosurgeon, has said the federal government should regulate abortion and that it is a “personal decision” between a woman and her family.
On Wednesday, Carson told Malzberg that Wehby has "a very good value system … Personally, she's pro-life and does everything just like I do to try to preserve life, but she's pragmatic also and she knows that there’s no way you're going to win in Oregon with that stance.
Carson added: "There's a difference between just being principled and saying, 'These are my principles; I can't deal with anything else,' and being principled and savvy. If you're not savvy along with your principles, you're not going anywhere."
But Santorum said Wehby cannot have it both ways, adding that her declaration reminds him of another politician's two-faced view on abortion. "That's Mario Cuomo. That's the position Mario Cuomo had, which is indefensible,'' Santorum said.
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Cuomo — who was New York governor from 1983-1994, and whose son Andrew is the current governor of the Empire State — was also pro-choice, despite being a Roman Catholic and against abortion.
Santorum, who placed second behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, is author of the new book, "Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works,''
published by Regnery.
"The big part of the book is talking about how we have to get three things in order," Santorum said.
"Number one, we have to create jobs that the 70 percent of Americans who don't have a college degree can have that are family-sustaining, good-paying jobs. Secondly, we have to train — so, vocational education.
"And finally, the family. You can't have a strong economy unless you have a strong family unit. When the family breaks down, the economy breaks down, particularly in neighborhoods where there is no marriage and there are no dads."
Santorum — now CEO of EchoLight Studios, which produces family-friendly G- and PG-rated movies — said he is still opposed to the Senate's sweeping immigration reform bill.
"The sad thing is that … it doubles the level of immigration. We're talking about 50 million new immigrants here in the next 20 years. I'm a first generation American. I believe in immigration, it's a wise thing,'' he said.
"But we have to do it in a way that takes care of the people in this country and at the same time, create an opportunity for people who want to be Americans, who want to work....
"If we quote 'fix immigration,' we simply create another problem by attracting tens of thousands and millions of more immigrants into this country who will create the next 12 million 20 years from … now.''
And additional immigrants will further tax the nation's health system, he believes.
"This is a serious problem and we don't have a serious person on the other side of the table. President Obama is not serious about this problem," said Santorum, who is believed to be mulling another presidential run in 2016.
"He cares about the politics, he is not interested in compromise, he's not interested in doing the right thing, he's interested in playing politics so [the Democrats] can point to the Republicans and say, oh they're against you.
"That is absolutely tomfoolery, that's ridiculous. The president had two years — we had a majority in the House, he had a majority in the Senate — [and he] never even proposed a bill.''
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